You' think it would be verifying or checking or something.
But more and more, this highly sought after skill is one that separates the men from the boys, so to speak.
You ei have it or you don't.
You're either endowed with the fit or you aren't.
Or are you? Proofreading is often one of those skills that is inherent to the proofreader, but it can be learned by the non-proofer.
I know this will sound like a Jeff Foxworthy trait, but you know that proofreading is inherent when you begin correcting billboards, church bulletins, internet copy, or anything else you see written or published just because it should be corrected (and often getting upset about it in the process).
There are a few words or phrases that you still have trouble with, but by and large you can spot spelling and grammatical errors from a mile away (and old, overused cliches like 'a mile away').
Proofreading for the non-proofer tends to be a bit more tedious.
You don't like correcting other people's work even on the off chance that you notice it is incorrect, which is highly unlikely.
You freely let misspellings and punctuation be what they are.
So is it possible for the non-proofer to have the same intensity and drive that born proofers have? No, not really but it certainly doesn't mean that some of it can't be learned.
Many times the misspellings are on the very common words.
For instance, it's important to know when to use the homonyms there, they're, and their.
Or do you know the difference between it's and its? What about two, to, and too? Proofreaders who are born to proof can catch them right away, but the non-proofer might gloss over them.
For the most part, it's not a terrible thing to let slide, but it puts a mar on the reputation of the organization.
It may take a little more time to learn some of these things, but it can certainly be done to any who are interested.
It does take concerted effort, but the rewards for making the effort far outweigh the time and effort it takes.
Plus, you will continue helping to build the ranks of the Spelling & Grammar Police, of which I happen to be a Captain.
Proofreading can be a learned skill but it takes time and patience.
Many think one review of a paper is twice more than is necessary.
A skilled proofreader will read that paper at least twice, secretly hoping the non-proofer doesn't catch a word he didn't catch!